Predators enforcer protects more than teammates, becomes a volunteer firefighter

Nashville Predators enforcer, Wade Belak, has already started preparing for life after the National Hockey League. In May, Belak applied to and was accepted into the Williamson County Fire Rescue Squad, an all-volunteer crew that has served Williamson County for over 40 years, having been established in 1966.

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 21: Wade Belak #3 of the Nashville Predators looks on from the bench during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on January 21, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Predators 4-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Belak has undergone training to be a volunteer firefighter (Photo:

Belak’s application for the training was accepted in July and Belak completed 2 months of classes. When training camp opened in September, the former first round draft pick (12th overall, 1994) still had 6 classes left, which he has since been able to complete. Belak was officially accepted into the Fire Rescue Squad in early October.

Predator fans shouldn’t worry about Belak’s safety just yet. Belak won’t be taking any calls during the season. “They know the situation here. Obviously I won’t be taking any calls during the year. This kind of trumps that, with the risk of getting hurt and stuff like that would not be good,” Belak said.

Though Belak won’t be helping to put out any fires during the hockey season, he will still be an active member of the Fire Rescue Squad. “I’ll get to hang out at the station and try to hear all the stories.”

Belak says being a volunteer firefighter is something he always wanted to do, and added that since he and his family have made Middle Tennessee their home, and were here the entire summer, it seemed like the right time to get involved. Next summer, Belak plans on going to EMT school. Being an emergency medical technician is one of the base requirements for people interested in having an actual career in firefighting, beyond volunteering.

When will we see Wade Belak the firefighter, not the enforcer? “It’s kind of a long process when you think about it. Probably in a few years we should see what happens. I should know what’s going on,” he said.

Belak’s off-ice interests don’t stop at fighting fires. He also has aspirations of going into television or radio after his playing career is over.

Belak has played with the Nashville Predators since 2008. Having been drafted by the Quebec Nordiques, Belak started his career in Colorado and has also played for the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers. In 534 total NHL games, Belak has 1245 minutes in penalties and has also scored 8 goals, with 25 assists for 33 points.

You can watch Belak and the Nashville Predators tonight when they take on the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena. Game time is 7 pm CT. Tickets are still available. Follow the link below for a sale on tickets.


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